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Service of Death & Resurrection in Loving Memory for Vance Uden Franklin, State of Nebraska U.S.A. Born May 21, 1940 Bruning, Nebraska. Departed This Life April 18, 2009 Franklin, Nebraska. Words of Comfort The Reverend K. F. Kaleuati.
Prelude"Any Dream Will Do" by Donnie Osmond
Words of Grace In the midst of life, we are in death. To whom can we turn for help, but to you, only, Lord. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life: he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believe in me shall never die. "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strong hold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Eternal, immortal and invisible God, grant that we who gather may behold your presence with the eyes of faith. How destitue we would be this moment without the good news of love at the heart of all. How hopeless and pathetic our outlook if it were not for the resurrection faith. We thank you for the life of Vance Uden, for the good he has done among us, for his dedication, his unselfishness, his sense of humor, his good judgment and all the qualities of character that have endeared him to his family and friends. Support Connie and the family with fellowship of love, friendship and care. Bind up their wounds of the heart with your unconditional love, help us to know how fragile life is, so that we may invest our time and energy serving your will with constancy until our summons come. Then may we be united with the blessed ones through Jesus Christ our risen Savior. Amen.
This is a tender moment but in no way does it have to be one of tragedy. It is a moment not only to share our sorrow and grief, but also to affirm life and love as we offer thanksgiving to God for the life of Vance Uden. We have come together as witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ because, we knew and loved Vance Uden; because we have lost a friend, a colleague, a grandfather, a father, a husband, a teacher, a significant and faithful man.
Vance touched all our lives in different ways. All of our reflections about Vance's life are partial and fragmentary, but, they are attempts to say something of what we deeply feel and, perchance, something of what we treasure. The greatness of Vance Uden lies in that surpassing wholeness and mystery which transcend our knowledge and impressions.
One may not know Vance Uden for long without realizing his thoroughness and care about whatever he is called to do. It would be very difficult to believe that Vance ever did anything carelessly or shoddily. His quiet ability to see and master detail without losing sight of the whole was incredible. His life experience, his openness, his listening ability, and his scholarly mind in processing and comprehending the concepts and the challenges before him was unquestionably firm.
Out of our love for Vance Uden, and in celebration of his life among us, we say, "Glory be to God--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--as it was in the beginning is now, ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Vance Uden (1940 - 2009)
The next time you hear a new born calf bawl or see cattle in green pastures, think of Vance Uden. He will be doing this right beside you from heaven's green pastures. Vance was born May 21, 1940 in Bruning, Nebraska. He purchased his first Angus heifer at age twelve. From then on through his teenage years he faithfully waited by the mail box for his Angus Journal. He was graduated from the University of Nebraska Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. While in college he was on the livestock judging team which had a major impact on his life.
In 1963 he married Constance Sterner and moved to Franklin, Nebraska. Here he continued his love for cattle and established TC Ranch. For Vance TC stood for Total Commitment. He thoroughly enjoyed his work and never planned to retire, always striving to produce better cattle. He was a respected cattle judge for all breeds and had judged all the major shows. He was a strong supporter of youth, and with his guidance helped many get their start in the Angus business. He shared his cattle knowledge, was an independent thinker, kept a positive attitude, and did what he thought was good for the breed.
He belonged to many organizations, held board positions, and received numerous awards. But his greatest accomplishments and satisfaction was producing herd sires that would help his customers produce better cattle and improve the beef industry.
He enjoyed Husker football and volleyball, major league baseball, music, politics and his family. He had a love of God, love of family, love of country, and love of Angus. May those who knew Vance carry on his good traits of treating all equal, of genuine integrity, of concern for others, and a strong commitment to improving the Angus breed that he cared so much for.
In addition to Connie, he's left two sons, Ty of Louisville, KY and Dru of Franklin, NE; mother-in-law Rose Sterner of Franklin, NE; sister, Cheryl Tribble of Troy, ID; grandchildren, Hannah and Tavin Uden of Franklin, NE; neices and nephews; and his extended family of world wide cattle friends.
"I Did It My Way" by Frank Sinatra .
Old Testament: Ecclesiates 3:1-8
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven; A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to seek, and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace.
New Testament: Romans 8 (selected)
The apostle Paul wrote: "In the face of all this, what is there left to say...If God is for us, who is against us? A God who did not hesitate to spare his own Son but gave him up for us all ---can we not trust such a God to give us, with him, everything that we need? Who can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord? Can trouble, pain, or persecution? Can a lack of clothes and food, danger to life and limb, the threat of force of arms? No, in all these things we win and overwhelming victory through him who has proved his love for us. I have become absolutely convinced that neither death, nor life; neither what happens today nor what will happen tomorrow ---nor anything in God's whole world has any power to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
A Word (Eulogy)
We are acutely aware that we gather as companions on the journey of life, caught in a whirlwind of pain and sorrow. Vance Uden, a very dear man in our lives is taken away from us, and we sorrow in parting. In the midst of it all is the inescapable and perennial question: "Why? Why now?" The difficulty in answering the why question is being answered by Pascal who said, "Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point." (The heart has its reason of which the mind knows nothing.) Thus Rainer Maria Rilke in Letter To A Young Poet advises us to be patient towards all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, then we will live into the answers.
Perhaps, it is better to simply live our questions unanswered than to be content with answers that will not do, will not uphold, will not sustain and will not empower us. Questions move us forward not backward, as long as our questions are offered out of love of the truth, and not out of some pathological need to voice a question.Of course, the question "why" is unavoidable. However, we tend to forget that the question "why" has a built-in answer, an assumption that there is an answer. Consequently, we think and consider some providential purpose that lies beneath this moment of grief. I believe that if we ever find some answer or divine purpose to adjust ourselves to, then "we will malign the very nature of a loving and caring God who weeps with us when we weep, and who suffers with us when we suffer." God was the first one to be there with Vance when this illness took him, and was the first one to weep with us.
In my humble view, we gather together at this moment and at this place by accident. At the same time, we are confronted by the larger mystery of life and death, and this larger mystery is not "why" we die, "but how it is that we ever lived.
"Fortunately, Vance Uden provides the answer to the phenomenal question of how it is that we ever lived.When death comes, our lives are measured not by power or reputation but by the service we rendered to serve humanity. Rabbi Harold Kushner said, "what people feared the most at their deathbed is not death, but that they have not given their lives to doing something worthy of all humanity, serving others, doing something to make life better for someone".
Vance Uden lived life to its fullest through service to others. A person who has everything is the poorest person because he does not know what it is to yearn for something better. Vance was always thinking of ways to improve or to better this and that! When you meet Vance Uden, he gives full attention to you, listening about what you do in life, about your family, about anything...for he is interested in ways to help people ---whether to increase your knowledge about the Angus business, raising quality beef, and even points on how to better one's life.
For Vance, it is not the size of the service, because what he does to bring sunshine and joy to many has to do with the heart...the size of the heart. For Vance, the questions is not who is my neighbor, but what kind of neighbor am I. It is not duty but his whole being and attitude that you witness when he meets you. Vance is a true friend. The apostle Paul writes in Ephesian, "We are members of one another." Vance will do what he can out of his gifts and grace to make you feel at home, enjoy life, do a good job wherever you are, produce quality product and know that you are someone, somebody precious!
Vance has genuine love for his family, his wife Connie, two sons Ty and Dru and the joy of his life, the grandchildren Hannah and Tavin Uden.
Vance is a man of his word, truthful, honest, with integrity and character, who would listen to all sides of the situation and will do his best to share from his heart without compromising his own.
Wherever Vance served, people knew him for his openness and fairness to all. Vance's world is larger than you and I could think. Vance has friends all around the world...what an Ambassador of Goodwill to all!
It has been said that eternal life is the extension of the courses in the spirit we have taken here on earth. If you live well, you die well, and all that which you have done will carry over into the world on the other side of death. Death will not arrest one's progress. Someone said, "Heaven will have the best herd of quality Angus with Vance helping Saint Peter." Hurrah! Those inclined toward Godlikenss will rise closer, "for God alone will be with them."
Finally, what better way we can honor the memory of Vance Uden, but to call on you to share Vance's spirit of service, hospitality and openness---in giving and sharing and caring for someone in ways that will not only bring hope to others, sunshine to many but also to lift up the spirit of love and life so that we may all live life to it fullest.
"Amazing Grace" by Andre Rieu .
If I lift up my eyes to the hills, where shall I find help? Help comes only from the Lord. O God, before whom generations rise and pass away, we praise you for your servant Vance Uden, who having lived this life in faithfulness to your call on servanthood so that all your people may have life in fullness, now live eternally with you. Especially, we thank you for the gift of his life, for the grace you have given him, for all in him that was good and kind and faithful. We thank you that for Vance Uden, death is past, pain is ended, and he has entered the joy you have prepared for him. O most merciful God, we commend into your hands the soul of our brother departed -- Vance Uden -- and we commit his ashes to the ground, in sure and certain hope of the resurrection in the last day, and the life of the world to come, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father in heaven, holy be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Do not bring us to the test, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you and me with every good that we may do his will, working and serving you and others with that which is pleasing in your sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
"Memories" by Andre Rieu and soloist Susan Erens
Instead of traveling to attend a funeral, it was Vance's wish that people use that time to do something positive for someone else; take your grandchild for a walk through the cattle, reconnect with someone from your past, make an effort to resolve old conflicts, or lend a stranger a helping hand. Offering your time and energy in this way will not only honor Vance's memory and spirit, but benefit us all by touching the hearts and lives of others as he has touched ours.
The family would like to collect and make available a list of the good deeds done in memory of Vance; the deeds will be listed anonymously.
To Thoughtful you from Thankful us . . . It is amazing to us how God moves in the simplest way in our often complicated lives,and how our most difficult struggles can be transformedby the gentle words or touch of another, how we can be encouraged by the presence of Godin one's simple kindness . . . Our family expresses their graditude for the overwhelming support we have received the past months. Vance was truly blessed to have so many friends that cared so deeply. We thank you for all your thoughts and prayers, and may God bless you and your families.
As Vance would say, "Have a nice day and make someone smile."
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